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Thread: Franc Audio accessories isolation platform

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2011

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    Default Franc Audio accessories isolation platform

    Greg from G-point audio kindly arranged a home demo with a couple of bits and pieces, they were the :

    *Lampizator (level 2 I think) dac,

    *Franc isolation platforms and

    *Albedo Geo cables (I'm not 100% sure on this, perhaps Greg can confirm with the cables).

    The reason for the ambiguity was the main point of interest for me was the platforms, everything else was supplementary.

    First thing we setup was the Lampizator, shame I didn't get a picture of it for scale purposes, it's bigger than my amp! Build quality was impressive. One clever feature was the fact the valves can be reached without having to open the unit (from underneath).

    Setup was simple enough; installation of drivers (which weren't too easy to find, the website could do with a cleanup!) but Greg foudn them and e were off.

    This is my first experience of valve technology in action, I've never noticed things in my system improving as they heat up but this was certainly the case here. At first it sounded ok, but nothing more than that. 5 minutes later and I was pretty gob smacked by what I heard, compared to my M-dac the music was controlled with more authority, whoever says valves have poor discipline with bass needs to check this thing out. I like drum and bass and it threw out bass with seeming ease and kept everything together with solid timing, the whole while remaining extremely musical, firm but fair for sure.

    I was impressed to learn of the number of options available in terms of custom builds, you can choose features you do and don't want, so you don't pay for things you'll never use and can send it back if you upgrade/change your mind in future, an excellent approach allowing the customer to decide on what value looks like to them.

    We put my M-dac back in the system and then put in the Franc isolation platforms:





    These are the 'skinny' platforms in place. Things to note:

    Build quality and finish are superb, I love the sytling, and they just feel like extremely well made products.

    They are big! They can also be made to order however.

    They are constructed in two parts, the white section is a special resin, I don't know what it is (I don't think I'm meant to ) and the black section is pure aluminium. They aren't just plonked ontop of one another; there are ceramic balls between them. I'm sure Greg can give a better description of them, technically.

    The 'fat' ones were considerably thicker in the white secion, apparently the skinny ones are good to 150kg, the fats up to 250; as you might guess I don't need the latter!

    Okay so the important bit, how do they sound?

    I never knew my speakers had this level of expression in them. My brother was with me when we first heard them and we just looked at eachother as if to say, can you hear what I'm hearing?

    I bought some Granite platforms from André on this forum, they upped my sound a lot. I read an article about granite sucking the life out of sound (but is better than nothing, especially in my flat).

    This was an entirely different ball game. I always thought it was bollocks when people say the sound stage opened up in front of me (etc). I think it's because I'd never heard it happen before. It did for the first time with these. I just went from genre to genre listening to see how my favourite tunes sounded, classical music to drum and bass, indie, drone; it all sounded incredible.

    New detail was revealed at the top, little parts of songs I'd never heard before came out to play and what I had heard before sounded much more together; incredible. The bass from my bookshelfs became more controlled and articulate, vocals sounded incredible, with extra air added to them, I think one of my comments when a particular favourite tune kicked in was "F*cking hell". Articulate I know.

    These things aren't cheap. When you factor in the build and what they can do for your system, I wouldn't think twice about including them. The danger for me was always that I was going to like them and I do. It's a pleasure for me to do this write up because I think they aren't a well known brand but honestly, if you use granite, live on suspended flooring or are curious about what your speakers can really do, I urge you to consider these things, I'm never going to sell them (yes I'm keeping the large ones as I plan to upgrade my speakers at some point).

    Interestingly, all of the above (with the Franc platforms) was done without my full RDC cone setup under my speaker stands. I later added them and the sound improved again. Also, the speaker stands vibrated more than the speakers themselves when real volume was applied, this had never happened before and showed the huge improvement that the platforms had made to the stands performance (and thus overall sound).

    I tried the fat one out under my sub and really gave it some, full bass on some incredibly low end heavy tracks and it made an impressive difference, the floor no longer shook, everything was absorbed by the platform and it sounded a lot cleaner for it. Unfortunately right now I just can't have three in my system. When I can I know where I'll be looking

    Ah the Geo cable. It's a phono cable. Very attractive build and finish (first good quality phono cable I've ever seen/handled in the flesh). I tried it in place of my TQ black XLR. It was interesting, completely changed the sound. Where the TQ grabs the music by the scruff these took a different approach entirely. They weren't relaxed, but they were calmer and more delicate; things sounded silky and refined. I don't have any jazz and forgot to check my classical (I have one CD of that, lol) but I imagine it would sound great with those genres. Greg said they actually start from scratch with these cables, not just re-badge the stuff, etc.

    I'd just like to thank Greg for driving miles to meet me, carry tonnes of gear up 3 flights of stairs and allow me to play music for 3 hours solid whilst checking all of the gear out.

    I appreciate his friendly and honest attitude and approach with regards to the gear. Real nice chap to do business with and I thorouhly recommend his services.

    (Disclaimer: this is the first kind of indepth review I've ever really written, so apologies if I go off on any tangents or haven't structured it very well, hope it's of some use).

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Nice review(s)!!

    Quote Originally Posted by realysm42 View Post
    Greg from G-point audio kindly arranged a home demo with a couple of bits and pieces, they were the :

    *Franc isolation platforms

    .... These things aren't cheap. When you factor in the build and what they can do for your system, I wouldn't think twice about including them.
    Those platforms seem mighty interesting -- I wonder how they'd do under my MBL speakers ... go on, spill the beans ... how much £moolah£ are we talking about?

    I can't see the Franc Audio gear on the G Point website yet. I guess it's new stuff?
    EDIT - ah, OK - I've found a "News" item on the site http://gpoint-audio.com/g-point-audi...rms-available/
    .

  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2011

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    What do you have under them right now Jerry?

    I can only speak about having nothing (or suspended wooden floring if you like) and granite slabs under my stands. The granite slabs were a large improvement but nothing prepared me for what these things have have done for me!

    Given my speakers are 'budget' compared to what you've got it'd be really interesting to hear what they would do with your system...

    I got mine for a special introductory price, which was a discount as they're ex demo units (and I'm the first person in the country to have bought a pair). I'm not rich, but there's no way I'd not have them in my system now.

    Greg said the skinny ones are £650 each for the skinny ones and the fat ones are £750 (they are considerably fatter as well, I'd guess maybe 6 inches of platform, built like a tank).

    Ps. glad you like the review!

  4. #4
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    Woah! That much? Damn!

    Mind you, if they extracted another 30% out of the MBLs it might be money well spent! .... hmmm
    .

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2011

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    Like I say, I don't know what you've got right now, but there's no harm in a demo.

    If you're serious about getting eveything out of your speakers you probably owe it to yourself lol.

    Btw, I'm in no way affiliated with G-point (might sound like it from what I've said), but I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on what I consider to be one of the best upgrades to my system since I bought it.
    Last edited by realysm42; 07-09-2012 at 10:05.

  6. #6
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    Ah right - I didn't answer your question!

    I've tried spikes (proper MBL ones, natch ), granite slabs (horrible!), proper "audio" marble slabs and just plonking them on the carpet on their fixed footers.

    Tbh, plonking them straight onto the carpet is pretty much as good as anything else I've tried, and that's the way they are at the moment! At the lower end of the support price bracket, the speakers don't appear at all sensitive to changes (except the 'garden centre slabs' )
    .

  7. #7
    Join Date: May 2008

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    I've used granite under all sort of things for a long time, but it's never worked under speakers for me, either.

  8. #8
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    I've literally just texted my (long suffering) neighbour that lives beneath me and asked het how things are sounding now, she said it's a heck of a lot quieter. Less of the sound is getting sucked into my floor (her ceiling) and I'm getting it all instead, win win

  9. #9
    Join Date: Mar 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Grand Wazoo View Post
    I've used granite under all sort of things for a long time, but it's never worked under speakers for me, either.
    Me either. Possibly due to the crystalline nature perhaps.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Aug 2008

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    Where does the granite effect out of interest? Bass or mids or soundstage or everything?

    Be interested to work out what the Franc Audio resin part is made of too..

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